Happy Valentine’s Day, eh?
Happy Valentine’s Day, eh?
A reason for some home town pride.
I went to college in Alabama. I was asked before leaving Colorado if I was afraid to be going “down south”. I wasn’t. Or at least I don’t remember being afraid. Looking back, I can tell you the experience showed me a lot about racism…as it existed in Colorado. You see, in Alabama, it was clear cut that most white people weren’t going to pay attention to me other than to make sure I wasn’t behaving in any stereotypical ways. There were clear cut lines as to where I belonged as a young, Black woman in the areas I spent most of my time. Hence my general discomfort anywhere outside the metro areas of Montgomery (AL), Birmingham (AL), Atlanta (GA), Savannah (GA), and Tallahassee (FL). The more rural areas, even today aren’t places I want to live or be after dark.
But in Colorado. The lines weren’t as clearly drawn as much as I remember. I never felt as if I wasn’t “allowed” certain places, but there’d be this undeniable, purposeful dismissal. Being blatantly ignored by whites, openly passed over…in certain places and situations, I would cease to exist. It was WEIRD. Southern whites would look me in my face and deny me – that was clear. In Colorado, they’d smile at everyone, give everyone eye contact, EXCEPT me. “Good morning, may I help you” to the whites who’d walked in before me, and when I crossed the threshold, smiling and ready with my “Hello, how are you?”, suddenly everyone’s attention would be diverted and I’d receive no greeting. I can give you countless examples of this type of treatment in Colorado and not one during my time in the south because as I said, the lines were crystal clear and so I never spent time in places I knew I wasn’t going to be welcomed. In Colorado, that subtle dismissal of my very existences would be at random times, at random places. One day I’d be met with a semblance of respect and a polite attitude, at others, in the same place, I’d be shunned or eyed with great suspicion. As I got older, I realized it was subtle enough to keep me distrustful and always on edge – a state of mind and body that can wreck havoc on sleep, stress levels, and such.
Anyway, be sure to click the link above (Courageous Conversations…) and catch a glimpse at how folks in Denver are gearing up to begin talking about such things and hopefully, create some positive dialog and change in how humans are treated in the MileHi (and maybe beyond).
Or that I’m not interested. It’s that it’s all still too much to take in. The never ending hate; the underlying fear that his shenanigans will trigger a nuclear World War III that will surely be the end of us all.
I continue to BE the love, respect, acceptance, and common sense I seek in what laughingly passes as our nation’s leadership at this point.
I speak up, speak out, and stand firm in my belief that there is some amazing good that will come from all of this.
And from my mom…
Subject: Fwd: here’s a promising way to help the activist fight
Since Paul Ryan has blocked his office phones and fax numbers, and is turning away people who show up to deliver petitions, it’s time to change tactics.Please mail post cards to his home address saying NO to defunding Planned Parenthood, NO to repealing the ACA, NO to privatizing Medicareand NO to preventing Muslims from entering our country
! (I’m sending one card for each.)Please copy and paste this info and share. Let’s see what 67 million cards in the driveway looks like!Paul Ryan700 St. Lawrence Ave.Janesville, WI 53545
We’re nine days in and I’m waiting for all these “new” people to show up. The slogans were tossed about without any hesitation as they always are, “New Year, New You”…and the many variations. Yet as I’ve gone about my days so far, I’m seeing a lot of the same, angry, afraid, zombies that I saw before the calendar page flipped and the fireworks (and AUTOMATIC GUN FIRE) went off. Oh sure, they may be running through the neighborhood with their flashy new running gear, or crowding up the gyms in their flashy new work out gear, but their faces…just look at their faces. When they’re not aimed solely at their cell phones, that is.
I made no such promises this year. As I mentioned a post or so ago, I’m in a recovery of sorts. Recovering from 42 years of negative self-image, low self-esteem, and trying to figure out what I want to be when (IF) I grew up. First things first, realized I had spent most of those years trying to gain the love and acceptance of my dad; trying to be a person he would love and accept; a woman he thought was beautiful, and worthy of his time. He’s been dead since 1999 (or 2001, I always get the date wrong…a Freudian based, deliberate forgetfulness perhaps?).
*Spoiler Alert* You can’t gain the approval of a dead person. Who knew?
And about that growing up part. That was based on what I thought I was “supposed” to be like at this age. HA! I can remember when I was a pre-teen and I decided that adults were, to put it bluntly, f*@#$ in the head. They had their moments of fun and frivolity, but for the most part, they were angry, tired, zoned out, disconnected, curmudgeons. They only seemed to have a good time if there was alcohol involved. They didn’t have dreams or goals they were working for, oh no. They had JOBS and the only hope they had of finally getting to do the things they wanted to do was when and if they RETIRED WELL – as in retired and had enough money to do more than exist day to day until they died. Yeah, well, at the ripe old age of about 9 or so, I decided that was not the life for me.
Forty years later and I noticed I’d accidently slipped into Adult. Oh, there were rebellions along the way. My mid 30’s to mid 40’s were the bomb! lol…I partied, I played, I was irresponsible to a certain extent. I was the fun parent who set relatively light boundaries on my kid (thank the Goddess she didn’t run amok). Think Edina Monsoon from AB Fab and her daughter, Saffron. Without the drugs.
I had a blast. An empty, joy deadening, blast.
Hmmm. Took a downward turn there, eh? Where was I? Oh yeah, so I look up and realize that I’d slipped into being THAT grown-up. So, I took myself to rehab and have been in recovery since November.
Between you and me…I think it’s working ;-).
Hope you’re “new year” is off to a good, strong, start.
Introvert (<—– click for awesomesauce). And the bit about the phone calls and the Day Of Syndrome…smh. So, so, so, so, SO ME!!!
Side Note: Did YouTube do away with the “embed” feature while I was gone?
So the hate train has pulled into the station and its occupants are poised to be in power for a minute. Those of us being hated feel some modicum of fear. I get that. I also get that in order to become really good at something, “you have to get terrible out of the way.” In other words, you have to do something badly often enough that you get to a point where you’re not so bad. “Practice makes perfect” provided you’re paying attention and learning from your mistakes. Eventually, you’re going to get good.
Our country (well, let’s be honest, humanity as a whole), isn’t so good at inclusion, acceptance, managing fear, or governing its self. Each go round, as in each generation, we have our moments of suckage. Of truly terrible. But with each generation, we managed to learn a little something and suck a little less. The changes in the right direction aren’t obvious or very noticeable in the moment, but hindsight (history) shows the baby steps.
In light of that point of view, I’m choosing to believe this latest happening is the catalyst for the next forward step toward sucking just a little less. Another baby-step forward if you will that we’ll learn from and do better at next time.
I pray the suck doesn’t come with a massive loss of life but let’s face it, human nature. There will be bloodshed.
I continue to BE the peace, tolerance, acceptance, love, courage, and faith I want to see in the world. Amen.
Either way, I am arachnophobic (is that a proper word?). So what does Life send me as good omens? Uh huh. And it can’t be little, tiny ones either. Oh no, it’s got to be the urban, jumbo size.
Well, at the new house (which I have yet to write about. Maybe this weekend…), I’d been blessed with the occasional cockroach / waterbug, whatever you want to call them. Those large, redish-black, monster beetle like things (one of them with WINGS for goodness sakes). Those are bad enough. Especially when they FLY!!! But then, a couple of months or so ago, there was this non-descript (which I’m sure was a spider) sort of tan, multi-legged critter that JUMPED toward me as I tried to kill it. It managed to get right up on me while I was sitting in my favorite spot on my couch. Gack. I flicked it off the couch, leapt to safety and ran to get the bug spray. I was shooting the stream of poison from about two feet away and that’s when it JUMPED toward me. Oh the horror.
Last night though, shortly after I registered for the New York deal, this large, grey, obviously – spider appears in the middle of the floor, heading straight for the couch as if purposefully wanting me to see it. I jump up to a standing position on the couch, leap to safety, then run for my shoe. Mind you, by this time, the eight legged monster has made its way to the couch. I swat at it from behind, just missing it as it disappears underneath the very section of the sofa I was sitting on. It’s going to be days before I can sit on the couch, let alone anywhere in the room.
My phobia aside, was that the Universe sending me tidings that my trip to New York was a done deal? That I’m going to somehow come up with the money, a place to stay, and a way to safely get there and back?
I’d like to believe that with all my heart. Even if it was a flipping spider delivering the message.